Transport and roads authorities have pleaded for caution during the Easter exodus as people fan out around the country to visit family and friends, or just get a much-needed rest.
"Fatigue is a silent killer. If you're tired while driving or riding, please stop somewhere safe and take a break," urged the Road Traffic Management Corporation.
Arrive Alive tweeted a series of reminders for passengers scrolling through their phones, such as making sure everybody is buckled up.
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Between 19:00 and 20:00, the N3 toll concession company counted 910 vehicles moving through the Mooi Plaza in KwaZulu-Natal, 1 060 at Tugela Plaza between Ladysmith and Van Reenen, 890 at Wilge Plaza near Villiers, and 1 540 at De Hoek Plaza near the border between Gauteng and the Free State.
An hour later it had risen significantly.
Thousands of Zion Christian Church congregants were also travelling by car, bakkie and bus for their annual pilgrimage to Moria, near Polokwane. Deputy President David Mabuza is expected to address the congregants on Sunday.
Bakwena Platinum also reported "busy conditions" with a high volume of vehicles and cautionary notes about accidents on the route.
Accident reports were also starting, with the N3 Concession company tweeting that there had been an accident at Hidcote in KwaZulu-Natal between a car and a heavy vehicle, which had been cleared.
They were also warning of potentially hazardous driving conditions such as rain in the Lowveld.
Authorities in the provinces were geared up for the rush, with officials out in force to assist and to do random checks.
Last year 510 people were killed on South Africa's roads during the 2018 Easter holiday; this represented a 14% increase from 2017's figure of 449.
Authorities were also out doing random safety checks and Transport Minister Blade Nzimande spoke to some motorists about safe behaviour on the roads.